MONDAY, JUNE 03, 2002
Football Names Mike Spencer Defensive Line Coach

June 3, 2002

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville University has hired former Jackson High assistant Mike Spencer as its new defensive line coach, head coach Steve Gilbert announced today. Spencer replaces Shawn Trent, who left JU after two seasons to accept a coaching and teaching position at Englewood High School.

Spencer spent the last two seasons as the defensive coordinator at Andrew Jackson High in Jacksonville, where he helped lead the Tigers to a 21-3 mark and back-to-back district and Gateway Conference championships the past two seasons. In 2001, Jackson went 11-1 and sported the number one public school defense in the city, while posting an undefeated regular season (10-0) for the first time in 32 years. The Tigers went 10-2 during Spencer's first season in 2000.

"Mike's intensity and defensive experience should make an immediate impact with our young defensive line," says Gilbert, who led the Dolphins to their first winning season in 2001. "He is a high-profile assistant coach who has been associated with some of the top high school programs in the state (St. Thomas Aquinas and Jackson)."

Spencer began his coaching career as an assistant coach at St. Thomas Aquinas in Ft. Lauderdale from 1982-88, where he helped lead the Raiders to three seasons with 10-or-more wins, including a 12-1 record in 1983 and an 11-1 mark in 1986. Following a two-year stint as a graduate assistant coach at Florida State under Bobby Bowden from 1989-91, Spencer returned to St. Thomas Aquinas as an assistant coach and later interim head coach from 1991-95. He helped lead the Raiders to the 1992 5A Florida State Championship with a perfect 15-0 record, while reaching the 5A semifinals in 1991 (14-1) and 1994 (10-4).

Since leaving St. Thomas Aquinas in 1995, Spencer has served as head coach at Mariner High in Cape Coral, Fla., in 1995 and 1996, as an assistant coach at Crisp County (Ga.) High in 1997 and Woodside (Calif.) High in 1998. He spent the 1999 season as head coach at Kathleen Senior High in Lakeland, Fla.

The former linebacker originally signed with the legendary Paul "Bear" Bryant at Alabama in 1982, but later transferred to Temple University where he earned his B.A. in criminal justice in 1987.

The Dolphins, who captured the 2001 Southern Division Championship in their first year as a member of the Pioneer Football League, will open their fifth season of football on Sept. 7 against Lenoir-Rhyne at 1 p.m. at D.B. Milne Field on the JU campus.